WHY I AM A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST #2
A. Why are you a member of the church of Christ?
1. If you are not a member of the church of Christ, why are you a member of the religious organization that you are?
2. Is it because that was the one your Dad and Mom were members of?
3. Is it because that is the one closest to your home, or has the nicest building in town?
4. Is it because it because you think that one church is as good as another?
B. If our neighbor were to ask us why we were a member of the church of Christ, could we give them a sound reason?
1. Isaiah 41:21
2. 1 Peter 3:15
3. If your neighbor were to say that one church is as good as another, how would you answer them?
C. Over the next few weeks we will be answering the question: “Why am I a member of the church of Christ?”
E. Previously we studied that I am a member of the church of Christ because:
1. It was founded by the Scriptural Builder – Christ
2. It was founded on THE Scriptural Foundation
A. I AM A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST BECAUSE IT WAS FOUNDED AT THE SCRIPTURAL PLACE – JERUSALEM
1. If a person should be a member of some church first founded in London, Rome, Salt Lake City or New York, he cannot be a member of the Lord’s church.
a. The Lord’s church did not have its origin in any of these places
b. Man just cannot be a member of the scriptural church unless he is a member of the church founded at the scriptural place.
2. Let us consider some passages which point to the place where the Lord’s church was established:
a. Isaiah 2:2-3
1) From this prophecy we learn, first, that The Lord’s house would be established in Jerusalem.
2) Second, the Lord’s house would be exalted and all nations would flow into it.
3) Third, the time of fulfillment would be in the “latter (or, last) days”
4) The apostle Paul spoke of “the house of God, which is the church of the living God” (1 Tim. 3:15).
5) Thus, the Lord’s house is the church, and Isaiah tells us that it will be established in Jerusalem in the last days.
b. Micah 4:1-2 … the same prophecy, almost verbatim, as Isaiah.
c. Zechariah 1:16 … So once again the Holy Spirit taught that the church was to have its origin in Jerusalem
d. Jesus, in giving His worldwide commission, taught that Jerusalem was to be the starting place of the church
1) Luke 24:46-49
2) From this passage we notice:
a) Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead before repentance and remission of sins could be preached in His name.
b) The proclamation of this message was to begin at Jerusalem.
c) And they were to tarry in Jerusalem until they be endued with power from on high – the Comforter of John 14:26
3. Let us now consider the fulfillment of these passages:
a. The Holy Spirit was not to come until Jesus had gone away … John 16:7. The apostles saw Jesus ascend out of their sight in Acts 1:9.
b. The apostles were commanded to tarry in Jerusalem (Lk. 24:49). After the apostles watched the Lord’s ascension they returned unto Jerusalem (Acts 1:12), the appointed place; and there they tarried.
c. The apostles were to be clothed with power from on high (Lk. 24:49)
1) In Acts 2:1-4 we read of the fulfillment…
2) The Holy Spirit was to come and we see that it did come in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost
d. The word of the Lord was to go forth from Jerusalem in the last days or later days (Isa. 2:2-3; Mic. 4:1-2)
1) We have the fulfillment of this prophecy in Acts 2:14-42 in which a stirring sermon was preached in Jerusalem.
2) This occurred in the last days; for Peter quoted Joel’s prophecy (Joel 2:28-32) as proof of that which was to come to pass in the last days.
3) Hence, this was the right place and the right time
e. Repentance and remission of sins was to be preached in the Lord’s name, beginning at Jerusalem (Lk. 24:47) … This was the message of Peter … Acts 2:38
f. The Lord’s house (the church) was to be established in Jerusalem in the last days (Isa. 2:2-3; Zech. 1:16)
1) And that is when and where it was established.
2) Notice Acts 2:41, 47
3) Beginning at this time we find the church being spoken of as a reality, while prior to this it was spoken of as a future institution.
4. So, according to the prophecies and their fulfillment, the Lord’s church, the church of Christ, had its origin in Jerusalem.
a. This is the church of which I am a member!!
b. This is the church you must be a member of…
B. PLANTING THE SAME CHURCH IN ANY COMMUNITY AND AGE IS DEPENDENT UPON SOWING THE SAME SEED INSTEAD OF CHURCH SUCCESSION
1. Even if a man could trace an institution, year by year, back to its establishment, he would have no assurance that it was the identical institution that existed in the beginning.
a. Over a period of years, a church could so apostatize that it could no longer be the true church.
b. The apostle Paul said that there would come an apostasy, or a falling away:
1) Acts 20:29-30
2) 1 Timothy 4:1-3
c. These passages make it clear that an apostate church would grow out of the true church
2. Thus, we had better be interested in seeing if we are sowing the same seed that was sown by the apostles.
a. Jesus says that “the seed is the word of God” (Lk. 8:11).
b. If we sow the same seed the apostles sowed, the same church will spring forth … Galatians 6:7
c. Every seed produces after its kind:
1) Sow corn, you get corn…
2) When the seed of the kingdom was sown in the first century, you did not get different denominations.
3) Today if the seed of the kingdom is planted in its purity you will not get a denomination, you will have the church of Christ.
4) Denominations exist today because the seed of man has been sown
3. We must realize that if all the growing corn throughout the world was destroyed, corn would not be destroyed as long as it exists in seed.
a. The same is true concerning the church!
b. As long as the seed of the kingdom exists the true church will never be destroyed
c. Jesus said … Mark 13:31
d. If we want to have the church in any community, we must do as Paul and Apollos did … 1 Corinthians 3:6
A. I am a member of the church of Christ because
1. It was founded by the scriptural builder – Christ,
2. It was founded on THE scriptural foundation – Jesus Christ
3. It was founded at the scriptural place – Jerusalem
P. O. Box 107
Hamilton, Texas 76531